Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run has succeeded at crafting elegant PEC wines for over 20 years, focusing on highlighting the specific terroir of the County and creating some of the best examples of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world. Dan received the “Best Red Wine in Ontario” medal at the 2020 Ontario Wine Awards for his signature JCR Pinot Noir 2018. Sitting on the “Hungry Point” isthmus, surrounded by Lake Ontario on 3 sides, the vines dig deeply into the rocky, calcareous limestone soil. The long sunny days and cool evenings of the region, along with the high acid levels and low pH of the estate soils, ensure Rosehall wines are never lacking in freshness and structure. It is this kind of nervy tension that allows for the production of sublime sparkling wines, both traditional method as well as tank-fermented sparklers, including the exceedingly popular “Pixie” brand. The key to Rosehall’s success is its attention to detail in the vineyard. Sullivan believes that he simply bottles what the vineyard gives him. Yields are infinitesimally small compared to other wine regions, made smaller still by careful selection. Grapes are harvested at full phenolic ripeness, made difficult by the sometimes slow ripening and by the inherent climactic dangers of long hang times.
Nestled on a peninsula on the north shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Kingston, the Prince Edward County wine region sits on a bed of porous limestone. This is crucial for creating the mineral, brightly acidic wines the region is known for. The vineyards benefit from breezes off of Lake Ontario, keeping the temperature down on hot summer days and cool at night. “The County” was first settled in the late 18th Century and, after years of farmland agriculture, began growing grapes in earnest by the early 2000s.
Sauvignon Blanc has been growing at Rosehall Run since 2001 and in earnest since 2013. Today, there is a bit more than an acre planted, meaning this is truly a unique-to-Prince-Edward-County small-lots bottling. What sets this apart from the ubiquitous style of Savvy typically found commercially is the place and the approach. Sauvignon Blanc is a vigorous vine. RHR has tempered that somewhat with low vigour rootstocks and particularly rocky low vigour soils. Yields rarely top out at more than 3T/Acre (45 hL/hA), which is approximately half the production of a typical New Zealand planting. Even a large crop at Rosehall is conservative by the standards of Sancerre, which permits up to 60 hL/hA.
Sauvignon Blanc originates from the French regions of Loire Valley and Bordeaux. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. Sauvignon Blanc often buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to overwhelming heat. Sauvignon Blanc grows in nearly every wine making region on earth and is produced in a variety of methods resulting in a wide spectrum of styles that range from lean to bountiful. It is a popular and unmistakable white that is loved for its “green” herbal flavors and inherently high acidity.
The long, warm growing season in 2022 allowed for perfect maturity and rich varietal expression. Barrel-fermented in 500L French Acacia A new barrel is added to the rotation every few years to lend a very light smoky, floral tone to grassy/tropical notes. The wines spends six months in the cellar fermenting and resting prior to bottling.
An inviting, floral nose with notes of lime zest, white peach and pineapple. Prominent but structured acidity showcases flavors of lime, blood orange and passion fruit along with a subtle pleasing smokiness for a balanced, satisfying finish. Pairs well with a variety of refreshing salads for the summer as well as with Thai lettuce wraps or chicken satay.